a blessed DIY fail

04 Feb a blessed DIY fail

Aren’t these handcrafted marshmallows lovely? Can you tell how light and fluffy they are? Like little drops of heaven, I assure you.

I didn’t make them.

I did, however, TRY to make my own homemade marshmallows. I HAD to. Last week was a toughie. Several people I love were (are) dealing with major, earth-shattering crises, like life-and-death stuff, and I worried myself into quite a funk. I forgot to enjoy the blessings.

Side Note: Do you know that song by Dar Williams called “The Blessings”?

If you’re gonna get your heart broke, you better do it just right,
It’s gotta be raining, and you gotta move your stuff that night,
And the only friend you can reach isn’t a good friend at all,
And you know when he says “Now who dumped who?” 

that you never should have made that call.

I had the blessings, there’s nobody there, there’s nobody home,
Yeah, the blessings, at the moment I was most alone
And aimless as a fulltime fool, the joke was on me,
I got all those birds flying off of that tree, and that’s a blessing.

And the blessings were like poets that we never find time to know,
But when time stopped I found the place where the poets go.
And they said, “Here have some coffee, it’s straight, black and very old,”
And they gave me sticks and rocks and stars and all that I could hold,

I had the blessings, a moment of peace even when the night ends,
Yeah, the blessings, can we meet? Can we meet again,
At the crossroads of disaster and the imperfect smile,
With the angel in the streetlamp that blinks on as I walk on amile, the blessings.

And the best ones were the ones I got to keep as I grew strong,
And the days that opened up until my whole life could belong,
And now I’m getting the answers, when I don’t need them anymore,
I’m finding the pictures, and I finally know what I kept them for,
I remember, I can see them, see them smiling, see them stuck,
See them try, I wish them luck and all the blessings…

Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t believe a good marshmallow fixes all that’s wrong with the world. It can’t heal someone who is facing life-threatening illness or job loss or any other of the dozens of heartbreaks that enter our reality here on this broken earth. But when you’re depressed, nothing tastes good. Everything is dull. And that’s how I felt for a few days. Dull. Numb. I sort of mentally crawled into a hole and whimpered.

And when I crawled out, I had an insatiable craving for marshmallows. GOOD marshmallows. We have a bag of Jet-Puffed in the pantry and I plopped a couple into my mug of Ghirardelli hot cocoa and was sorely disappointed in the flavor. 

I remembered I had recently seen a tutorial over on Prudent Baby to make your own. I seemed to recall the words “easy” and “anyone can do it!” You know how making stuff is therapeutic for me, so of course I tried it. But you also know I’m not one for precise measuring and following directions, so it’s no wonder my marshmallows turned out like this:

My first mistake, I believe, was trying to make them with vegan gelatin. But really, the errors are too many to count. I didn’t use a candy thermometer. I used dark corn syrup instead of light. I stopped the whole process halfway through to feed the kids a snack and change Miles’ diaper, and I let B stir in the sugar and can’t be sure she didn’t add a few extra cups.

All in all, it was a DIY FAIL.

Yet, I still craved marshmallows. So I bought some delicious ones at Whole Foods. And the world does seem a little brighter. I’m ready to focus on the blessings again.


P.S. I love when you guys comment, so please tell me about some of your kitchen failures. If you do, I might come back online and tell you about the time I set the spaghetti on fire.

  • Kristy H.
    Posted at 01:12h, 04 February Reply

    The most delicious marshmallows I’ve ever eaten–hands down–were behind my cubicle wall at the BP office, giggling with Katie H who had even made some with sprinkles. Yum.

  • Jes
    Posted at 01:13h, 04 February Reply

    No joke…as I was reading the ps my pasta and carrot water boiled all over the stove.

  • Angie
    Posted at 02:23h, 04 February Reply

    When I was a teenager, I made cookies that were supposed to look like little watermelon slices. The dough had a green outer layer and a red inner layer… a rather involved, time-consuming processe. The second I put them in the oven I spotted the butter still on the kitchen counter.

  • Jackie
    Posted at 14:15h, 04 February Reply

    Being a vegetarian rarely stops me from cooking meat, even though I can’t taste it to tell whether it was good or not. My husband is very brave and is willing to try anything I make. There’s only one thing he’s ever told me not to make again: chicken and dumplings. I can’t say what, exactly, I did wrong, but it must have been really, really wrong. (Will have to listen to that song; I know you love Dar. Headed to Charlotte this weekend to see Eddie from Ohio. I will, of course, think of you, since my first EFO show was with you!)

  • Diedre
    Posted at 14:51h, 04 February Reply

    I made my friends sons 1st birthday cake without any sugar. At all. No one said anything and someone asked me for the recipe…

  • Weather
    Posted at 19:03h, 04 February Reply

    Were you at the party when Lesley brought artichoke dip made with vanilla yogurt instead of plain?

  • Sarah Buttenwieser
    Posted at 04:01h, 05 February Reply

    left the cardboard in the (unused till Thanksgiving) oven when i moved into my house making a turkey (giblets left inside) for the first time (i’m a vegetarian, in my lame defense) & eventually (operative word) it got cooked.

    sending well wishes to those who need them in your world.

  • Sassy
    Posted at 21:22h, 05 February Reply

    I set fire to a bowl full of fish crackers when I turned on the wrong burner. Jonathan still talks about that day. On the other hand, I have made marshmallows and they came out splendidly 🙂 Definitely a good marshmallow can make a bad day better especially enthroned on a homemade hot chocolate!

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